- Global Careers
The International Law & Organizations Program prepares graduates to work in human rights, the rule of law, post-conflict reconstruction, environmental cooperation, corporate social responsibility, protection of international investment, negotiation of international trade agreements and other areas handled by multilateral organizations and NGOs.
The program provides a working knowledge of the general principles of international law, multilateral organizations, and the particular regimes that govern international human rights, international arms control, the limits and use of military force, the law of the sea, regulation of the environment, international health problems, and investment and trade.
The International Law and Organizations Program has an active speaker series, featuring policymakers, diplomats and international lawyers involved in current issues. The program occasionally sponsors a student trip to the United Nations in New York for high-level briefings, as well as small-group visits in Washington, DC, to the US Supreme Court to hear oral arguments and to the US State Department Legal Adviser’s Office. Students also may have the opportunity to take part in an international academic field trip, contingent on available funding. Through generous support from the Starr Foundation, the program has organized trips to India (November 2009), Sri Lanka (March 2011) Bangladesh (March 2012), Cambodia/Thailand (August 2013), and Indonesia (August 2015). Furthermore, students have access to the American Society of International Law and its annual Washington meeting and the American Bar Association Committee on Law and National Security, which hosts speakers on the law of armed conflict, arms control and counterterrorism. Students also have the opportunity to attend International Law Weekend, an annual conference held in New York City, sponsored by the American Branch of the International Law Association and the International Law Students Association. The United States Institute of Peace, the Brookings Institution and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, all in close proximity to the Washington campus, also present programs on the United Nations.
Students have held internships at the UN Human Rights Committee in New York and Geneva, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the International Criminal Court, the UN Foundation, and various development organizations and human rights NGOs, including the Foundation for Human Rights Initiatives in Uganda. The program has some financial resources for internship placements and supports its students in seeking supplemental funding.
International Law & Organizations Program Learning Goals and Objectives
Entering Class 2016-2017
MA students must take the equivalent of 16 non-language courses (64 credits) in order to graduate. Those students who are approved for dual degree or advanced standing may only need to take 12 courses (48 credits) or 14 courses (56 credits) as approved by Academic Affairs.
MA students concentrating in International Law and Organizations (ILAW) must take at least 4 courses within this program. One of those courses must be Introduction to International Law (SA.650.700) or Foundations of International Law (SA 650.760) in SAIS Europe, but can be waived with permission of the program's Associate Director or Director.
Students must also fulfill the general requirements for International Relations (IR) which include 2 additional courses within IR from two different IR or selected Policy Areas other than ILAW. These areas include:
· Conflict Management
· Global Theory and History
· International Political Economy
· Energy, Resources and Environment
· Strategic Studies
IR students studying at SAIS Europe must take at least three IR courses in Washington with the exception of dual-degree or advanced-standing students, who need must take at least two IR courses in Washington.
Students must complete 4 courses within this program.
· Macroeconomics (prerequisite or concurrent Microeconomics)
· International Trade Theory (prerequisite Microeconomics)
· International Monetary Theory (prerequisite Macroeconomics)
Eligible students who pass the waiver exams in these subjects or who pass Micro in Pre-Term must replace those courses with alternate economics courses. Many students choose to pursue an International Economics Specialization in one of four areas of economics and therefore use electives to meet these requirements. Students may also choose to specialize in Emerging Markets.
Students must receive a 2.67 average in the 4 required economics courses or they must retake a course(s) until a 2.67 average is obtained. If any of the 4 courses are achieved by passing a waiver exam or during Pre-Term, the student must substitute an economics elective course(s) in place of the waived course(s) in order to fulfill the economics requirement above. In this case, the school will use the highest economics program elective course grade(s) to compute this average if a student is replacing one or more of the 4 required courses of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory or International Monetary Theory.
Students must complete one course from the list below.
· Statistical Methods for Business & Economics
· Econometrics (prerequisite Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
· Applied Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
· Macro Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
· Risk Analysis and Modeling
· Quantitative Global Economics (prerequisite International Monetary Theory)
Students may not double-count a Quantitative Reasoning requirement as one of the four required International Economics courses and vice-versa. Eligible students who pass the statistics waiver exam or pass the statistics course in Pre-Term are still required to take an alternate Quantitative Reasoning course from the list above.
All students must pass 2 core exams and/or courses in addition to their concentration requirements. ILAW concentrators must pass Theories of International Relations as one of their core requirements prior to the start of their third semester. If the second core is not completed by the start of the final semester, a student must enroll in second core course.
· American Foreign Policy Since World War II
· Comparative Politics (old name Comparative National Systems)
· Evolution of the International Systems
· Theories of International Relations
MA candidates must pass exams to demonstrate proficiency in a second language. This language must be offered at the school. Students whose native language is not English may use English as their proficiency language. All non-native English speakers are required to pass an English placement exam upon entering, even if not using English for proficiency.
International Law concentrators must complete ONE of the following capstones:
**For those whose final semester is fall, consult the Program Director for due date.
International Law and Organizations Minor Requirements (as of AY 16/17)
Considers the role of treaty law, customary international law and peremptory norms, as well as problems of reconciling national sovereignty and international law. Also looks at dispute resolution, the rise of NGOs and who can bring a claim (states only? diaspora peoples? individuals?) and at problems such as secession, law of the sea, use of armed force, refugees and human rights. Asks whether international law is just a form of politics, or whether it has a logic and discipline of its own. Examination or paper option.
A moot court team competition provides an introduction to legal reasoning, methods, research and argument. Enrollment limited to 6 students.
A moot court team competition provides an introduction to legal research, analysis and advocacy. The course will begin with general lectures on international criminal law with specific attention to the International Criminal Court. The moot court team will write three short memorials requiring research and arguments based on the three participants in ICC prosecutions, i.e., the prosecution, the defense and the victims’ advocate. As the teams prepare their written memorials, the course shifts to discussion of legal research and writing techniques. Once the memorials have been submitted, the class prepares for oral arguments. Each team will participate in three rounds of oral arguments and have the opportunity of arguing from all three perspectives, prosecutor, defense counsel and victims’ advocate. Enrollment in the ICC Course is limited to five students. However, each team can only consist of three students. Two additional students are permitted by the competition organizers if they are associated with the team as researchers.
This course is designed to teach students skills for careers in international human rights promotion and protection. These skills will be taught through the use of simulations, discussions, case studies and a team project. Each student taking the course has the opportunity to gain practical experience in international human rights through researching and working on a human rights report. The coursework will span the entire academic year with class sessions, group meetings, and project work in both the Fall and Spring semesters. Students will also be expected to participate in a fact-finding mission during Winter Break. This course has a limited enrollment and is by application only. Second year MA students in the International Law & Organizations Program may be given preference, but all are encouraged to apply. For application information and instructions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the course is being offered for zero credits (audit) in the Fall and 4 credits (grade) in the Spring. As such, this class will not count towards a student's full-time status for the Fall, so some may need to select another course for the Fall to be full-time.
Examines the law and institutions of the WTO, including its regulation of trade in goods and services, its dispute-settlement system and how it deals with policy issues (such as environment and labor standards) that may affect trade. Provides an overview of the main features of the WTO system and an in-depth examination of critical issues that have emerged in the dispute-settlement process or in negotiations.
This seminar will examine how the norms of international law and multilateral structures can contribute to the resolution of acute security crises – and also how they fail. The role of alliances as instruments of deterrence and commitment, the role of national and pooled intelligence, the function of the United Nations in convening negotiations and imposing sanctions, and the unapologetic survival of great power diplomacy and national military strength, will be addressed. We will also look at how atavistic differences – national economic ambition, ethnic competition, and ideological rivalries – can instigate and prolong conflicts. Seminar participants can prepare research papers or take an examination. Contribution to classroom discussions is required. The course will be taught by Ruth Wedgwood, the Burling professor of International law and diplomacy at Johns Hopkins SAIS, and Jeffrey Pryce, Esq., former senior advisor to the Pentagon’s Undersecretary for Policy and counsel at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in the field of international arbitration. Close analysis of the role and strategy of international and national institutions in security crises is one way to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past – in the destabilized global situation so much in evidence now.
Explores international environmental law, including human health. Examines international regimes on managing natural resources and controlling pollution—including the international institutions designed to promote cooperation and resolve disputes—and addresses reconciling the interests of developed and developing countries. Examines international watercourses, biodiversity and genetically modified organisms; global warming and the relation between trade/investment and environment; and human rights and the environment. Each student makes an oral presentation of an environmental treaty in class. (This is a cross-listed course offered by the International Law and Organizations Program that also can fulfill a requirement for the Energy, Resources, and Environment Program.) Limited to 15 students.
The first part of this course is designed to explore the complex inter-relationship between the quest for gender equality and multiculturalism, with an emphasis on the special dilemmas posed by religious systems which have or seek a significant measure of self-governance but do not accept liberal egalitarianism. The course, however, is not confined to an analysis of the "conflicts" generated by the anti-feminist and patriarchal nature of certain minority cultures, but seeks gender/culture connections in broader terms, taking into account liberalism's own difficulties in granting full citizenship to women. Questions to be examined include the following: Is the partnership of feminism and multiculturalism necessarily agonistic? In a culturally diverse world, what constitutes gender (in)equality? To which extent should democracies accommodate communal cultures inimical to liberal gender equality? Is there an emerging international and/or European model of accommodating cultural diversity which nevertheless adequately takes into account the gender dimension? The second part of the course analyzes the relationship between culture and the regulation of women’s sexual and reproductive rights, with special emphasis on sexual violence, abortion, female genital mutilations and pornography.
The Course will provide a brief overview of current challenges linked to both forced and voluntary migration and then proceed to examine and discuss how we can balance political, economic, legal and institutional issues linked to state as well as human security in the interest of a better national, regional and global management of migratory movements.
This is a basic international law course designed to introduce the central topics, concepts and principles of contemporary public international law. It will cover the following matters, among others: the structure of the international community and the function of international law; subjects of the international legal order; customary international law and ius cogens; treaties; general principles of law and soft law; use of force and the UN collective security system; foreign sovereign immunity and diplomatic immunities before municipal courts. The course will also consider the relationship between international law and municipal legal systems as well as international law enforcement mechanisms. Particular emphasis will be placed on discussing actual cases with a view to ascertaining how the main actors of international law behave and to what extent the law affects their conduct.
What is the role of the United Nations in maintaining minimum public order? Is it capable of effective action in crisis, and how should it work with other multilateral structures such as NATO and regional groups? The course looks at the crisis in Kosovo, the Dayton process in Bosnia and recent wars in Africa, as well as the work of the United Nations on weapons of mass destruction and human rights law. Discusses the current reform process, the competition for power between the General Assembly and Security Council and the role of the secretary-general and International Court of Justice. (This is a cross-listed course offered by the International Law and Organizations Program that also can fulfill a requirement for the Conflict Management and Strategic Studies programs.)
Analyzes the legal framework for private international investment. Looks at the sources of international investment law; conditions for admission; risks involved, including expropriation; and risk-reduction techniques, such as investment insurance and settlement of investment disputes.
This course will examine the complexities of transnational and cross-political business practices and strengthen students’ ability to counsel corporate clients effectively in a transnational business environment. The class will touch on the legal dimensions of international business and human rights, starting with postwar prosecutions of business leaders in the Nuremburg trials, and continuing through contemporary human rights challenges against corporations and corporate executives based upon their alleged complicity in human rights violations. It will focus on the increasing importance of corporate social responsibility, the creation of shared value for business, and the crucial role of the financial sector, advocacy groups and the internet in rewarding (and penalizing) businesses that do not take human rights and sustainability into account. The class will cover a few sectors that pose specific challenges in the business environment, namely: extractive industries, internet privacy, human trafficking, and health.
The American tradition of judicial review by independent courts has had an enormous influence on the international development of the rule of law in newly emerging democracies. This seminar, taught by a practicing lawyer, reads some of the classic cases of the American constitutional tradition, including cases on school desegregation, separation of powers, foreign affairs, freedom of religion and speech, control of immigration and the right to be left alone. Looks at the indeterminacy of the original constitutional document and how it has developed through the processes of both political and judicial interpretation.
There have been dramatic constitutional developments and legal reform in recent years in all ‘developing’ or ‘emerging’ regions of the world, one just has to think of the ‘Arab Spring.’ The spread of general principles of human rights and constitutional, representative government based on the rule of law, as either spurs for development or desirable outcomes of development, seems both possible and urgently necessary. The course examines the nature, fate and prospects for constitutional development and democratization in developing states from the perspective of comparative constitutional law, using case studies drawn from different parts of the world. In particular, the course employs the methods typically used in the analysis of comparative constitutional law and focuses on constitution-making and constitutional amendment; forms of state and forms of government; electoral laws; federalism, regionalism and devolution; the role and functions of constitutional and supreme courts; electoral management bodies.
Suitable for non-lawyers, this introduction to international trade law will explore the legal foundation of the international trading system in a highly interactive setting. The emphasis will be on the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), including intellectual property rules, and how these rules affect trade in goods and services. Policy considerations will be emphasized – such as the developmental and public health implications of WTO rules and rulings, and the relationship between WTO rules and rules governing environmental protection, human rights and labor rights. Particular attention will be given to important WTO Appellate Body decisions. Mention will also be made of regional trade agreements, including ongoing negotiations such as TTIP and TPP.
Torn at the Seam: Migration, Deportations, and Humanitarian Concerns on the Island of Hispaniola